Study Guide

Beauty Queens Cunning and Cleverness

By Libba Bray

Cunning and Cleverness

You may know the stereotype about beauty pageant girls: that they're airheads. In the beginning of the book, Tiara definitely fits this description. But since these supposed airheads have to survive, they need to be creative, collaborative, and technical. And they totally come through. Somewhere between building a system for clean drinking water and make a mace-like gun with makeup foundation, the girls realize that the stereotype is empty. Meanwhile, Adina gives Tiara lessons, calling it "smart school." A little condescending, but okay. By the end, Tiara can answer questions with both intelligence and confidence.

Questions About Cunning and Cleverness

  1. What do you think is the most impressive Teen Dreamers' survival invention?
  2. What did people mean when they told Tiara that she would be fine because she is pretty? How did they think she would be fine?
  3. How do you think the pirates of Captain Bodacious would have fared on the island without the Teen Dreams?
  4. Why do Shanti and Miss Ohio want to change the world?

Chew on This

The idea of Girl Con shows the Teen Dreams' growing confidence in their own abilities.

All the defense moves that Taylor makes in her hallucinogen-induced state are to protect her fellow Teen Dreams.

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